Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Francesca Gets a Bath

I, Francesca, smell good now!

Dog Park Drama

Hi, it's me, Cinnamon. I've been having some "issues" at the dog park lately and it's not all Francesca's fault, really!
Here I am enjoying a stick with Francesca.
See how innocent we are... minding our own business?
Let me tell you what's going on. There is a man that comes to the park with two dogs... an older doxie and a young rescue dog that is really weird (are there mental health clinics for dogs?). Well, we found out the young dog had problems when Francesca went up to him one day to play. He didn't react like other dogs at all. He put his tail between his legs and ran around trying to protect the doxie who didn't need any protection at all (or want any). Francesca kept trying to play with the young dog just because he was young. And that's the way he reacted time after time. In fact, the poor young dog acted like that with most dogs that approached him... scared and protective at the same time. Weird!

Now we walk around with the nice couple who have a labrador retriever and a greyhound. They act like normal dogs and we like them! In fact Francesca plays a little game with the lab. She takes the dog's frisbee and plays keep away with it.
Here's the greyhound having fun at the dog park.
Here we are walking around with the nice people who have nice dogs.
OK, so here's the next really dramatic thing that goes on. I call it the "little dog problem." You see, there is a special fenced part of the park for little dogs. Do you think their owners would take them there? Nope! When questioned, the owners say, "My little dog can handle the big dogs." Many of them are aggressive and GET IN MY FACE. I can't stand that and so I snap back and put the little dogs in their place (as it is). I really think the little dogs should go in the little dog section so I am not tempted to lay down the law!
Here's a selfie I, Francesca, took at the dog park!
Hi, it's me, Francesca. I have an issue to add. It's the "mean farmer issue." I run around the whole dog park with my friends minding our own business. Then from out of the farm house across the street comes two dogs into their fenced yard. They bark at us and bark at us. The farmer gets so mad he yells at our owners for allowing us to get too close. MIND YOU, WE ARE STILL IN OUR DOG PARK WHEN THIS HAPPENS! I don't like some of the naughty words that are used. I, Francesca, am just a young thing and this upsets me.

Cinnamon, again.... Well, you can see how exciting it is to go to the dog park. Sometimes Francesca and I have to go home early because our owner thinks part of these things are our fault. IMAGINE!

Love, Cinnamon and Francesca

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cinnamon Redecorates

I was really embarrassed when my owner posted this photo of my room. I now share it with Francesca and it serves as an office for all of us. It is decorated in Guatemalan textiles (which I hate) and my owner throws towels and blankets over the carpet to keep it clean. Well, she tries! I have spent so much time training Francesca and grumbling about her presence that I haven't had time to address the issue of interior design.

I was embarrassed to have everyone on Facebook see the decor in my room!
So imagine my surprise when we returned from the dog park this morning. There was a huge (and very cheap) rug in the hallway all rolled up. Francesca and I had to jump over it to get anywhere. It was annoying.

All of a sudden my owner took a bunch of stuff out of the room including MY BED! What was up? She even took Francesca's bed out and gave it a good shaking. (Francesca stinks!).

So I walked in the room and saw..... the rug was making the room look SO MUCH BETTER! Now I am not sure I like the design but it certainly looks better than what we had before!
What the heck is this?
I looked at the rug and decided the colors would look good with my black and tan coloring. I decided I liked it and plopped right down on it before she could even straighten it!

I, Cinnamon, claim this rug as MINE!

I got kicked out of the room so my owner could finish straightening it. And then my bed was placed in the correct corner and, unfortunately, Francesca's bed was placed back in her corner. I was hoping she'd get her own room so I could have the newly decorated one all to myself!
Here I am on my bed
This is the way it should be. Just me and my desk!
And here's that annoying Francesca
in her corner
So, I do approve of the new rug and I approve of taking down some of the textiles. But THEY ALL NEED TO BE REMOVED. They clash! And, I think the room should be decorated in outdoor scenes and dog portraits. I'll work on that.

For now, it's nap time!

Love, Cinnamon

Thursday, July 23, 2015

10 Tips for Taking Your Dog on a Group Walk or Hike

Here I am at the walk finish
with my owner.
Walking with your dog with a group is a lot different than walking solo. Whether you are on a guided volkssport walk, a group hike or group dog walk, there are some key things for owners to remember to make the walk enjoyable for all:

1. Read the walk or hike details: Find out about the terrain, the length of the walk and consider your dog's abilities. Make sure it is a good fit. You will be expected to stay with the group. I, Francesca, limit my volkswalking to 5K walks. I know that is about as much as I want to walk.

2. Are Dogs Allowed: Check and see if your dog is allowed on the walk or hike, on the trail or in the park where you will be visiting. Volkswalks state right on the event description whether or not pets are allowed.

3. Check the weather: Heat can be deadly to dogs. Walking on city streets or paved roads increases the heat. Here is an excellent article about the dangers of hiking in the heat. And, conversely (Cinnamon taught me some big words), a walk on a rainy day might not be all that fun.

4. Bring Water: Dogs get thirsty. If it is a warm day, bringing water is especially important. There are collapsable dog bowls and water bottles with attached bowls that you can carry for your dog. Amazon carries a variety of them.

5. Leashes: Even if your dog is good about coming back to you on command, a leash is important when you are walking with a group. It is important that the dog not interfere with others who are walking or get overly friendly with another dog on the walk or hike. Good leash manners are important. It is especially important that the leash not trip someone who is walking or hiking with you. If your dog goes from one side of the trail to the other, you might want to walk last so that you don't trip someone!

6. Other Dogs: If there are other dogs on the walk or hike, space them so they don't interfere with the group by playing, pulling toward each other or, heaven forbid, fighting! Talk to the other dog owners so you can work these things out.

7. Clean Up: It goes without saying that owners need to carry bags and pick up after their dogs. Usually that will be listed on the rules for the trail.

8. Registration Courtesy: When I was new to volkswalking, I trotted right up to the registration table and then saw a loose dog. I pulled and barked my head off. Lesson learned. Dogs should stay in the car while the owner registers for an event. But be mindful of heat... not in a hot or warm car.

9. Treats: I, Francesca, think this is a really good idea. Often people stop on the trail and enjoy a snack and so dogs should too. I think being rewarded for good behavior makes walking and hiking even more fun.

10. Backpacks: Dogs need to be tested and trained to wear a backpack. It should be the right size for their weight and height. If a dog can wear a backpack on a hike or walk, you can fill the pockets with water, treats and bags. Test out your dog's tolerance for a backpack at home before trying to use it in a group walk. If it doesn't work out, YOU, the owner may be carrying everything! You can buy dog backpacks on

By Francesca the Coonhound, Blogger Intern

Editor's Note: Of course I, Cinnamon, worked on this with Francesca so she could elevate her writing. I also made sure she checked her facts before we published the article. 

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Wednesday Walkers: Francesca Volkswalks

Actually I heard Francesca laid down just after this photo was taken!
I just wanted to show you proof that Francesca has joined the Wednesday Walkers volkswalk group. She does the 5K. I don't like the heat so don't go. I do think she spends more time recreating than learning how to blog, however!

See... there is Francesca on the right. If you click on the photo you can see the whole group.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

My First Day at Day Care by Francesca

Let me introduce myself. I am Cinnamon's intern, Francesca. Cinnamon is allowing me to write this, only because she is too tired from a romp at the dog park this morning to do much of anything. So here goes...

By Francesca the Coonhound

One day on the way to the post office, we stopped in to a very interesting building. In the building were many dogs. Big dogs and little dogs. And, there were people too.

We visited and then I was signed up for Day Care. It is a lot like pre-school. 

On my first day I was barely out of bed and Cinnamon's owner walked me several blocks to the building with the dogs. It is named "A Dogs' Best Friend."

I went inside and they took me to the back room where I waited for the other dogs to get there. I was very excited as each one came in. I played and played.

We had a lunch break and I got lunch and a nap. But I kept one eye open to watch the other dogs.

In the afternoon it was hot so we got misted with water out in the play yard. I played and played.

About 5:30 Cinnamon's owner came to get me. I got a treat in the lobby and then walked home with her. I was pretty tired.
I think this is why they enrolled me in Day Care.
Once I got home, Cinnamon was there to greet me at the door. We had some dinner and then lazed around most of the evening. Cinnamon said she got a good rest while I was at Day Care and wished I would go more often. 

So that is the story of my first day at Day Care. I can't wait to go back.

Editor's Note: I've graded this essay as a C. That's a pretty good start. She got the high mark for correct spelling. I marked her down for lack of descriptive phrases and repetition. Also, I'll have to teach her to use big words like I, Cinnamon, do!